Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has ordered the National Police, General Department of Immigration and provincial authorities to “strengthen stability, security and order” along Cambodia’s borders.
A letter to the relevent authorities, signed by Kheng on Tuesday, was issued after it came to the ministry’s attention that illegal activity along border areas continued to cause insecurity, affecting economic development and cooperation with the Kingdom’s neighbours. The order is aimed at “strengthening stability, security, order, coorperation and development along the borders with neighbouring countries”.
The ministry instructed the relevant authorities to pay greater attention to such activity and take prompt legal action, the letter says. It also ordered a clampdown on illegal checkpoints along the borders.
The minister says that the driving concerns behind the order are terrorism, weapon smuggling, illegal transportation of wood, and trafficking.
The ministry has ordered the relevant authorities to speed up the collection of daily information to ensure swift action on all cross-border crimes, particularly “terrorism, weapon smuggling, drug, human and labour trafficking and illegal timber transportation”.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability Executive Director San Chey said the order was not new and the issues remain due to a lack of proper legal enforcement.
“Foreigners cross into Cambodia to commit crimes like logging and drug smuggling because the borders are vulnerable. This affects the national economy and Cambodia’s reputation,” he said.
In April, Kheng ordered an investigation into a possible link to Cambodia in a Thai weapons smuggling case.
Separately, Deputy National Police Chief Mak Chito met with Naomi Binstead, an Australian Federal Police reprentative, on Tuesday, to discuss coorperation between Cambodia and Australia on combating cross-border crime, according to the National Police website.